Professor Gavin Parker

Professor of Planning Studies

Professor Gavin Parker

Professor Gavin Parker

Director of Planning Programmes
Real Estate & Planning
HBS 127, Whiteknights Campus
+44 (0) 118 378 6460



Gavin is Chair of Planning Studies at Reading. A chartered planner Professor Parker maintains a strong interest in citizenship, participation and governance in land, planning and development. He is interested in the relationship between land and people and considerations of property rights and conflict over land use. This interest spans the urban and rural divide and a number of policy fields, as well as internationally. He has maintained a thread of research that is concerned with interactions and tensions between actors involved in planning and development throughout his research career. This has been manifest in the body of work he has produced on participation in planning and on neighbourhood planning in England.

Gavin has been actively researching community and neighbourhood planning with reports and publications that have been shaping policy agendas in this regard, for example: Keen to ensure that his research and academic life is keyed into practice, he accepted a secondment to the Royal Town Planning Institute between 2012-2014 as one of the three executive directors. His responsibility included education, professional standards and Planning Aid England. His work there continued and extended his interest and expertise in neighbourhood planning and community engagement, see:

Gavin chaired the Community Council for Berkshire from 2006 to 2011, sat on the council of partners for the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (2006-2012) and he was a director of the True Food Cooperative, Reading (2008-2015). He is currently a secretary of state appointed board member of the New Forest National Park. Gavin has also developed a particular interest in land use, community and policy in Japan and he is a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo.

Amongst numerous academic and  policy oriented publications Gavin has authored several books: Citizenships, Contingency and the Countryside (Routledge, 2002);  the well-received text Key Concepts in Planning (Sage, 2012) with Joe Doak, see:; and  Enabling Participatory Planning (2018, Policy Press) with Emma Street; which discusses ‘neo-advocacy’ planning:  A handbook for Neighbourhood Planning is also in production - due in late 2018.

Gavin is keen to work with potential doctoral researchers wishing to pursue any of the themes expressed above and in particular participation in planning and neighbourhood planning.


  • PhD - Land, Citizenship and Property Rights (Bristol)
  • MPhil - Town Planning (London)
  • BSc (Hons) - Land Economy (London)
  • Chartered Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute – FRTPI
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Neighbourhood planning; Community engagement and planning; Countryside planning; Land and property rights


View a full list of Professor Gavin Parker's publications

Key Publications

Parker, G. and Salter, K. (2017) ‘Taking Stock of Neighbourhood Planning in England 2011-2016’ Planning Practice and Research. 32(4): 478-490.

Parker, G., Lynn, T. and Wargent, M. (2017) Contestation and conservatism in neighbourhood planning in England. Reconciling agonism and collaboration? Planning Theory and Practice. doi: 10.1080/14649357.2017.1316514

Parker, G. and Street, E. (2017) Neo-advocacy for Neo-liberal Times: Planning Aid and the Advocacy Project in England. Town Planning Review, 88(4): 443-463.

Parker, G. (2017) The uneven geographies of neighbourhood planning in England, pp. 75-91 in Brownill, S. and Bradley, Q. (eds.) Localism and Neighbourhood Planning: power to the people? Policy Press, Bristol.

Parker, G., Lynn, T. and Wargent, M. (2015) 'Sticking to the Script? The Co-production of Neighbourhood Planning in England', Town Planning Review, Vol. 86(5): 519-536.

Nanda, A. and Parker, G. (2015) 'Shared Ownership and Affordable Housing: a political solution in search of a planning justification?' Planning Practice and Research, Vol. 30(1): 101-113.

Parker, G. and Street, E. (2015) 'Planning at the neighbourhood scale: localism, dialogic politics and the modulation of community action'. Environment and Planning 'C': Government and Policy, Vol. 33(4): 794-810.

Parker, G. and Murray, C. (2012) Beyond tokenism? Community-led planning and rational choices: findings from participants in local agenda-setting at the neighbourhood scale in England, Town Planning Review, Vol. 83(1): 1-28.